Sunday, 24 May 2009

Easter 7 – Sunday 24 May 2009

Gospel John 17.6-19

Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed: 6‘Father, I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.’


Last Thursday – Ascension Day.

Next Sunday – Pentecost

In between time – disciples wait for promised gift of Holy Spirit

Today’s gospel – John 17

Jumps back to time before betrayal

Jesus speaks directly to disciples

Starts by telling about Advocate

Spirit of Truth

Whom he will send

Who will testify on his behalf

Talks about work of Spirit

After Jesus has gone, Spirit will talk about

Righteousness – he will prove world wrong about sin

Judgement – evil powers of world have been condemned

Disciples cannot bear to hear anything more from Jesus

After ascension Spirit will guide into all Truth

Will declare the things that are to come

Will glorify God

Once Jesus has gone

Sorrow will turn into joy

Like a woman in child birth – pain will turn into happiness – pain of Jesus being seen on earth no more will turn into joy after Ascension and gift of Holy Spirit

At end of previous chapter

For first time disciples understand:
“Yes now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God” 16:29

As soon as disciples ‘get it’ Jesus looks up to heaven

“Father the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you…”

Goes on to pray for the disciples

They have been given to Jesus by the Father

Now he gives them back to God

Asks for them to be sanctified – ‘made holy’

Allusion to Lord’s Prayer – hallowed be thy name

Disciples no longer part of the world

Contrast between ‘world’ and those who belong to Jesus Christ

Set at odds with world and its evil – so Jesus prays for protection

Two words


From evil (Lord’s Prayer again)


Jesus protected them whilst he was with them

Asks God to take on that responsibility after he has gone

The world will hate them – because they are set apart

Aim is that disciples may have joy as a result even after they have lost their Master

Joy in believing - contrasted with hatred by the world and evil one

Jesus then asks for all believers to be one

Just as Father and Son are united

So should all believers be at one

Like Parable of True Vine

Prayer for unity in church something we all long for – never been the case throughout the ages to the present day and probably beyond

What’s next?

After the Ascension comes gift of Holy Spirit – Pentecost (Whitsun) 50th day after Easter Sunday

Holy Spirit of God is Comforter of disciples – also convicter of sin – indweller bringing us to conversion and new life – inspirer and interpreter

Fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Spirit is one of the ways we perceive God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – Trinity Sunday follows when we annually wrestle with the mystery of the Trinity.

Like disciples, let us pray that we may be sanctified, set apart from world and its desires, displaying the fruits of the Spirit, to the glory of God the Father.

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